Five days after winning their partnership’s maiden title at the Big Apple Open, Manek Mathur & Damien Mudge added a second title to their names Saturday—the 2016 St. Louis Open at the Racquet Club of St. Louis.
With fresh new world rankings of No. 2 and 1 respectively this month, Mathur & Mudge entered their third draw this season as the top seeds, but this time had two seeds and first-time partners John Russell & Viktor Berg opposing them in the draw.
Mathur & Mudge drew difficult quarterfinal opponents in the form of Bernard Samper & Baset Chaudhry, who the top seeds brushed off 15-5, 15-7, 15-6. After a five-game quarterfinal victory over Graham Bassett & Fred Reid, Aussies Matt Jenson & Scott Arnold were next to challenge Mathur & Mudge in the semis, but Mathur & Mudge once again decisively held them off 15-5, 15-7, 15-8 to reach the final.
In the bottom half of the draw, veterans Russell & Berg took down Trinity alums Randy Lim & Andres Vargas in four games to reach the semis. With both the semifinals and final on Saturday, Russell & Berg also made sure to reach the final in three games against three seeds Imran Khan & Greg Park.
In the final, Mathur & Mudge dropped their only game of the tournament in the third after taking the first two games, but quickly recovered to emphatically win the title 15-4 in the fourth game.
“Coming off a win last weekend is always nice momentum and confidence,” Mathur said. “We both felt pretty good going into the weekend and were excited to get back out there after Monday night at the New York Athletic Club. Both teams winning the semis 3-0 was big. Between the pro-am play and pro play, Saturday ends up being a pretty long day. That being said, it’s something you know going into the weekend and have to be mentally and physically ready to spend a bunch of hours on court.”
The result marks Mathur’s first St. Louis Open title, while Mudge augments his outstanding record of twelve titles. The Australian world No. 1 has now won the tournament with four different partners.
“Samper & Chaudhry are a really solid team and are getting tougher and tougher with every event they play,” Mathur continued. “Two new partnerships are always tough to play against—trying to get a feel for what their tendencies are etc., but having playing against them with their prior partners gave us a good idea of how we should be going about setting up our points and strategy.”
The SDA’s busy month of November continues next weekend in Atlanta with the $40,000 PDC Cup, November 10-12.